Why Girls (9-18 years)
GIDN through its well thought programs empowers girls and women to thrive by receiving mentorship, scholarship in STEM fields, health support services and access to information, as well as a strong network of committed women who inspire young girls and women to realize their full academic and economic potential.
In 2011, UNICEF estimated that 31 million girls of primary school age and 34 million girls of lower secondary school age were not enrolled in school and according to statistics, one in four women globally are still illiterate, with most of them living in sub-Saharan Africa. It is reported that in 47 out of 54 African countries, girls have less than a 50 per cent chance of completing primary school. With women making up more than 50% of Africa’s population, many advocates of gender empowerment question how the continent’s current economic growth and outlook will be sustained, if the subjugation of women’s issues is still deeply and widely embedded.
On STEM Education
There’s a massive gender imbalance that persists in STEM-related fields. While determining exact cross-industry percentages is tricky, the number of women in these jobs generally hovers between 10 and 30 percent, even though having women involved offers so much to the world.
Without investing in the education of girls, or providing unrestricted access to political and economic opportunities, without social freedoms such as sexual and reproductive health rights, an entire half of the continent’s population is left out of Africa’s development agenda. This affects progress in turn and perpetuates poverty.
Mentorship & Empowerment
A key concern of the African education sector today is ensuring that education programmes equip and mentor young African girls with the ideal combination of knowledge and practical skills for the transition to a productive life. With the gross enrolment ratio in tertiary education at just six percent in sub-Saharan Africa, it is clear that the majority of young people joining the labour force do so immediately after secondary education. Many will not have acquired the skills and qualifications to enable them to join the formal sector.
WHY YOUNG WOMEN? (19- 40 years)
According to the International Center of Research for women. “The potential to advance women economically may be the most exciting transformative feature of technology. Empowering women and improving the efficiency of their work is critical for reducing poverty. Mounting evidence confirms that women’s improved economic status produces many positive economic and welfare outcomes for children, families, and societies”
Poverty often affects women the most, and its effects on them and their families can be long-lasting. Therefore, addressing women’s needs is central to improving the quality of life for not only that woman but also her family, future generations and her community. In fact, recognizing the significant role of women in economic development is the smart thing to do, as well as being socially and morally right.
The Global Poverty Project reports that:
“Women make up half the world’s population and yet represent a staggering 70% of the world’s poor. We live in a world in which women living in poverty face gross inequalities and injustice from birth to death. From poor education to poor nutrition to vulnerable and low pay employment, the sequence of discrimination that a woman may suffer during her entire life is unacceptable but all too common.”
In African society, an eighteen year old girl is considered an adult; unfortunately, she is still very handicapped to make her own decisions due to a number of factors such as a lack of financial freedom to pursue an education, cultural factors that limit women from achieving their full potential. Women are also negatively affected by the prevalence of sexual and domestic violence and remain in such environments due to cultural norms.
USAID reports that:
“Globally, one out of three women will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime, with rates of abuse reaching 70% in some countries… Gender-based violence (GBV) also affects other marginalized groups.
At GIDN we believe that by building up a girl’s/woman’s independence and knowledge, better synergies between gender equality and economic sustainability are realized, enabling her to generate a long-term impact of financial freedom.